Hollywood lost a legend on Wednesday night. The 91-year-old award-winning actress Ruby Dee passed away peacefully at her home in New Rochelle, New York.
Dee was the star of films familiar to many generations, from 1961's A Raisin in the Sun to 1989's Do the Right Thing. She earned an Oscar nomination for her role in 2007's American Gangster.
Outside of her film work, she and late husband Ossie Davis played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. They befriended both Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during that era.
She began her career in the 1940s in New York and continued to work for seven decades between the stage and screen.
The African American Film Critics Association released a statement regarding the talents she brought to the entertainment industry throughout her career.
Representative Gil Robertson IV said, "The members of the African American Film Critics Association are deeply saddened at the loss of actress and humanitarian Ruby Dee. Throughout her seven-decade career, Ms. Dee embraced different creative platforms with her various interpretations of black womanhood and also used her gifts to champion for human rights. Her strength, courage and beauty will be greatly missed."
Her career breakthrough was in The Jackie Robinson Story in 1950. She continued to work onstage and in television with a recurring role on Peyton Place and in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations as Queen Haley.
Dee was married for a short time to blues singer Frankie Dee and eventually wed her lifelong husband Davis in 1948. He died in 2005.
Besides her Oscar nomination in 2007, she was honored with numerous other accolades, including a Drama Desk award for 1974's Wedding Band, a 1991 Emmy for Decoration Day and a 2006 Grammy for the spoken-word album With Ossie and Ruby.
She is survived by her three children Guy Davis, Hasna Muhammad Davis and Nora Day Davis.
A documentary about her family life, Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee, is scheduled to be released on June 22.
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